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What were the special personality traits of Aphrodite?

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Quick Answer

Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, is most often characterized as vain, sensual, deceptive and careless. She was known for taking delight in causing romantic entanglements despite the serious consequences. Her personality may vary depending on the text that depicts her.

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Full Answer

Aphrodite's personality is portrayed both positively and negatively in Greek myth. As the goddess of love and beauty, she was known to inspire passion and excitement. When Paris chooses her as the most beautiful goddess, she becomes fiercely loyal to the Trojans. Homer depicts her as maternal and protective; other writers see her meddling with Helen of Troy's marriage as proof of her wanton, immoral influence, and her support of the Trojans as repayment for their devotion to her beauty.

Aphrodite had numerous affairs with gods and mortals, and she was known for sensuality. She also enjoyed making gods fall in love with mortals, a hobby Zeus disapproved. She was notoriously selfish and careless about the effects of her many love affairs, as well as the entanglements she created among others. Typically, she could be cruel and vengeful to mortals who neglected her worship, and kind and favorable to those who most supported her.

Many Greek writers characterize Aphrodite and her influence as disgraceful. She is shown less as a beacon of love and more as a proponent of lust and desire.

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